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Sweden defence exports soar

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As the third largest arms exporter per capita after Israel and Russia, Sweden’s booming industry has stirred up ethical concerns among Swedes about some countries it is doing business with.

Sweden-based firms including BAE Systems and Bofors have been hugely successful with arms exports in the 2000s. Last year alone they exported weapons and defence material to 55 countries to the tune of $1.8 billion (1.3 billion euros).

One of the most controversial exports from Sweden, the Saab-made Carl Gustav rocket launcher — used by US armed forces and other armies around the world — has reportedly fallen into the hands of groups that Sweden would not normally trade with, including Myanmar’s military and al-Shebab Islamists in Somalia.